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Pakistan Seizes Suspected CIA Informants; Union Loss In Wisconsin

Aired June 15, 2011 - 18:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Jack, thank you.

And to our viewers, you're in the SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, Pakistani authorities round up people suspected of helping the CIA hunt down Osama Bin Laden from the Pakistani stays new accusations that they're tipping off militants to U.S. surveillance. A new test for an already fragile alliance.

Rebellion in the ranks of Congress. Some lawmakers a bipartisan challenge to America's involvement in the Libya mission. Now, the White House is responding.

And an ex-porn actress says Congressman Anthony Weiner asked her to lie about their communications. Now, she's asking him to resign.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Breaking news, political headlines, and Jeannie Moos all straight ahead. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

There is fresh fallout right now from the U.S. commando raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. Pakistani authorities have rounded up people who may have helped the U.S. track the al Qaeda leader, and that's adding to the strains on a badly frayed relationship. CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into the story for us with enormous consequences. Brian, what are you learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's not clear if any of those people are still in custody, not clear whether any of them might be prosecuted. What is clear is that in the wake of Bin Laden's killing, this is more evidence of a fractured alliance between the U.S. and Pakistan.


TODD (voice-over): Pakistan has arrested and detained suspected informants who helped the CIA before the raid on Bin Laden's compound, according to Pakistani officials. Some were arrested at the nearby safe house used by the CIA to spy on Bin Laden including the person who rented them the house. The response from Washington?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not always an easy relationship, but it is vital one.

TODD: A Pakistan official says the arrests took place shortly after Bin Laden was killed. I spoke with CNN national security analyst, Peter Bergen.

How crucial was the pre-raid intelligence on the ground?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, I think it must have been crucial because without that you don't have a sense of who the courier connected to Bin Laden is, when he comes and goes, what his brother was doing, who else is in the compound, how many guards are there if any? I mean, all the things you want to know.

TODD: "The New York Times" was first reported this story says one of the informants was a Pakistani army major who recorded license plates of cars that stopped at the compound. The Pakistanis deny that.

TODD (on-camera): As a backdrop to the flap over these detentions, lists of complaints from both sides about each other. On the U.S. side, there's the question of whether two raids on militants were foiled by tip offs from Pakistani authorities. The fact that Bin Laden managed to hide in Pakistan for years and the belief that Pakistan is not cracking down enough on terrorist camps, but on the Pakistani side, the public is vehemently opposed a U.S. drone strikes which the Pakistanis say kill civilians.

The Bin Laden raid was conducted by the U.S. unilaterally and without telling the Pakistanis. And in January, a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis who he said were muggers. U.S. officials claimed diplomatic immunity in that case.

TODD (voice-over): House Intelligence Community chairman, Mike Rogers, says he had some candid conversations last week with top Pakistani commanders. He says he believes elements of Pakistan's military and intelligence service assisted Bin Laden.

What level of help do you believe they gave Bin Laden?

REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Well, I do think that there was some logistical efforts that had to happen by either members of the military, former members of the military, or former members of ISI or current members. So, there was some logistical assistance.


TODD (on-camera): But Rogers says there's no information that any top Pakistani leaders assisted Bin Laden or knew he was there. A Pakistani official I spoke with called Rogers' comments conjecture, and he pointed out that Pakistan's prime minister has emphatically denied any Pakistani cooperation with al Qaeda -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Brian, Congressman Rogers also gave you a very stark assessment overall of his meetings in Islamabad.

TODD: Yes, he did. The congressman met with General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan's army chief and with General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of military intelligence. He says after those conversations, he's the most pessimistic he's been in about six years about the relationship between the two countries. Rogers says Congress is going to have to set some benchmarks if the relationship is going to move forward in good faith. Maybe an indication of there of where the future, Wolf.

BLITZER: And $2 billion a year. That's a lot of money. All right. Thanks very much, Brian, for that.

Let's bring in our national security analyst, Peter Bergen. Peter, explain to our viewers here in the United States and around the world the Pakistani perspective. Why would they go ahead and arrest Pakistani officials who may have helped the United States killed Bin Laden?

BERGEN: Well, you know, if they're working for the CIA, technically, they're spies. If they are Pakistani nationals working for a foreign intelligence agency and that's not been declared do the (INAUDIBLE) you know, Pakistani people in the United States were spying for Pakistan even if it was sort of in the national interest of both countries.

You know, it's about their national sovereignty. So, even though there people who are helping in a sense with the harmful Bin Laden, technically, they are people who are spying for a foreign power.

BLITZER: Even though here, they're seen as heroes because they helped the United States get Bin Laden. All right. As far as you know, you know obviously a lot about this. Has Pakistan, the government of Pakistan arrested anyone, anyone in the entire country who may have helped Bin Laden hide out all those years?

BERGEN: I'm not aware of anything like that, Wolf. What I'm aware of is that they told me that they are conducting four separate investigations, a military investigation, an intelligence investigation, an air force investigation, a parliamentary commission. Now, typically, in Pakistan, these sorts of investigations often don't really get very far.

We still haven't solved the question of who killed Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani prime minister, in 2007 in an official capacity. So, those investigations are happening and what they will find, I'm not sure.

BLITZER: How bad is the overall U.S.-Pakistani relationship right now?

BERGEN: I think we've agreed in the past that it's as bad as it's been since 1990 when United States put sanctions on Pakistan for its nuclear program. It's the worst I can think of in memory, you know --

BLITZER: The U.S. imposed not only sanctions but cut-off arm sales, F-60, that were already paid for by the Pakistanis. They cut them off, and they said you can't get these planes because of what you're doing. As far as I can tell right now, there has been no direct threat of cutting off any U.S. military or economic assistance to Pakistan. They're still committed, the Obama administration. BERGEN: Right. And let's look on the positive side for a second. The helicopter that crash was returned to the United States, the helicopter that crashed to the compound, the stealth helicopter. The CIA was given access to the compound, which is something they obviously wanted. So, I think both sides understand that this relationship is much too important to preserve for, you know, mutual interest of both countries.

BLITZER: Lots at stake for both countries, indeed. Peter, thanks very much.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates is a short timer. As you know, after three decades of national security, he's free to speak his mind. Our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence is joining us with more. He's getting ready to leave the Pentagon, Chris, at the end of the month.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Today was his last appearance before Congress. You know, leaving a job like this after so long gives you a little bit of leeway to be perfectly blunt.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): Bob Gates knows exactly how long he's gotten left at the Pentagon.


LAWRENCE: And he's through holding back. So, when Sen. Patrick Leahy asked, why do we call Pakistan an ally and shower them with aid when they arrest the very people who helped the U.S. find Osama Bin Laden.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, (D) VERMONT: How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say enough is enough?

LAWRENCE: The ex-CIA director and current defense secretary let loose.

ROBERTS: Most governments lie to each other. That's the way business gets done.

LEAHY: Do they also arrest the people that help us when they say they are allies?

ROBERTS: Sometimes.

LEAHY: Not often.

ROBERTS: And sometimes, they sent people to spy on us, and they are close allies. So, that's the real world that we deal with.

LAWRENCE: Gates also tangled with Vermont senator on giving money to Afghanistan.

ROBERTS: I'm not talking about a Vermont democracy here, but a country that can defend --

LEAHY: Neither am I, Mr. Secretary and you know that.

ROBERTS: I know.

LAWRENCE: And when it came to the budget cuts, he admitted to Sen. Susan Collins, the White House gave him a dollar figure and said start cutting.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) MAINE: Were you consulted by the president or ONB in the size of the target that $400 billion that has been assigned to the Department of Defense?

ROBERTS: I was informed about it the day before it was announced.

LAWRENCE: Gates knows cuts are coming, but he made one last appeal for the scalpel, not a sword.

ROBERTS: Here, I would leave you with a word of caution, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past, where budget targets we're meant mostly by taking a percentage off the top of everything.


LAWRENCE (on-camera): Now, Gates says when you think about cutting off aid to countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said it shouldn't be done just as an accounting issue, but really should be done looking at the long-term effects, you know, into the future. He also says that, you know, cutting the money to the defense department and to the military has to be done with an eye to what sort of role you want the U.S. to play down the road.

He says it has -- it runs the risk of hollowing out the force. Now, some of the supporters of a more conservative fiscal strategy in the Pentagon who want to see more budget cuts will say, the U.S. already has the most powerful military in the world many times over and can afford to make some cuts -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Chris, thank you. Chris Lawrence reporting from the Pentagon.

Remarkable, truly remarkable reporting from inside Syria. CNN's Arwa Damon has managed to go where few western reporters have. She'll join us with an exclusive look at the suffering of civilians fleeing a very bloody government crackdown.

Also, the escalating battle between the White House and Congress over the U.S. military mission in Libya. Is the president violating the War Powers Act? The White House has just spoken out. The speaker has just replied.

Plus, a new player in the Anthony Weiner scandal, a former porn star who says the congressman attempted a cover-up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I refuse to lie, so I went silent and went into hiding.



BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with the "Cafferty File" -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Wolf, Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a law that limits the collective bargaining rights of most state employees does not violate the constitution. It was a major victory for the Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. The court decision limits the ability of most of the state's public employees to bargain over their wages. Raises now will be limited to inflation unless voters approve other pay increases.

And, public employees are going to be required to contribute close to six percent of their salaries to their pensions and pay more than 12 percent of their health care premiums. You'll remember, thousands of union backers camped out in the Wisconsin legislature earlier this year in an attempt to stop a vote on the measure. Fourteen Democratic state senators ran away, left the state and their duties as elected officials in support, but the measure passed anyway, and now, it survived the Supreme Court challenge in Wisconsin.

The collective bargaining ruling is yet another sign that organized labor in this country is losing power. In a very different case in Seattle, the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the machinist union is alleging that aircraft maker, Boeing, move jobs from union factories in Washington State to a new nonunion plant in South Carolina in order to save money. Duh. The NLRB says Boeing moved to South Carolina to get back at unionized workers in Washington who had previously gone out on strike.

The NLRB wants to limit Boeing's growth to Washington State. Well, Boeing and the South Carolina politicians disagree and call the case an attack on job creation. It's a tough sell to defend the unions in such a tight economy. We have 9 plus percent unemployment. Right now, a lot of Americans haven't gotten a raise in years. Others have seen their hours cut back, they're making less money today than they were just a few years ago. In this economy, you have to wonder if the unions can ever regain the power they once had, and that's sort of the question.

What does the future hold for organized labor? Go to and post a comment on my blog. That Boeing case in South Carolina, Wolf, is going to be interesting because I think Boeing is going to go to the map and fight it.

BLITZER: Yes. It's a huge, huge case and a lot of business types are really upset at the president and the Obama White House for not getting directly involved and allow Boeing to build. They've actually built. They've almost spent a billion dollars building that plant for the new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina. We have extensive reporting on it yesterday. A lot of business types say, you know what, if Boeing wants to build a plant in South Carolina, it's their right to go ahead do so.

The NLRB, though, says it would be a violation of laws. This is going to be a fight. Some have pointed out at least Boeing is not taking those jobs and outsourcing them, building that plant in Taiwan or India or some place else. They're building the plant in South Carolina as oppose to Washington State. It's a huge case.

CAFFERTY: Yes. Not yet they're not.

BLITZER: Yes. All right. We'll see what Boeing does. Thanks very much, Jack.

The U.N. human rights office today called for a thorough investigation into Syria's crackdown on protests. The state coincides (ph) widespread reports of torture and mass arrests and says more than 1,100 civilians in Syria are already believed to have been killed. Turkey says the actress and U.N. special ambassador Angelia Jolie this week will visit Syrian refugees on its border.

Meanwhile, CNNs Arwa Damon managed to briefly cross into Syria and speak with people who fled the crackdown. Arwa was at the scene, and she's joining us now live. Arwa, you first reported this 24 hours ago yesterday here in the SITUATION ROOM. Based on your eyewitness account, is the situation there getting better or worse?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, by all accounts, it certainly would appear as if there an increasing number of refugees streaming across the border. And they do tell horror story upon horror story of what it was that they fled, upon the horrors that they witnessed as they were leaving their respected villages and towns. This piece that we have to show you is just one example of what this one woman witnessed that caused her to flee.


DAMON (voice-over): She is simply too terrified to appear on camera and asked that we call her Nour, not her real name. The 22- year-old English major has come to this rudimentary camp alongside the Turkish border because she says, if she stays at home in Latakia, she will die.

VOICE OF NOUR, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I come here. This circumstance is so difficult. I am pregnant. I cannot bear such things. I have a nervous breakdown.

DAMON: She described what she witnessed just outside her house as nothing short of horrific.

NOUR: Every day, when we have the protesters in the street, military and the army come for them and kill them in front of our eyes.

DAMON: Did you see that?

NOUR: Our house, we have a window. In the window, they're shooting the window with fire. If I'm sleeping under something, I will lose myself and I will die. We go down to the kitchen, and we sneak to the kitchen on our stomachs

DAMON: Sneak into the kitchen on your stomach?

NOUR: Yes. Yes.

DAMON: Last Friday, activists reported the government onslaught to be especially bloody. The Syrian government has consistently said that it is only targeting armed groups, something active as an eyewitnesses say is a lie. This video reported to be taken last Friday and posted to YouTube. The CNN cannot independently verify appears to show people seeking cover behind a wall as intense gunfire rings out amid plumes of smoke. Nour says on that day, a lawyer she knew was gunned down for no reason.

NOUR: He doesn't want to go to the protest. He is going to visit his sister, and then, they shoot him. The people come to take him to the hospital, and after 10 minutes, return him dead.

DAMON: And you saw this from the window?

NOUR: Yes, yes. Like this car, Suzuki, and the blood come from this car.

DAMON: And that was when she fled with her family.

DAMON (on-camera): She's so scared that she's talking her hands just keep shaking uncontrollably. You can hear in her voice quivering as well, and it's just the trauma of what she has seen and what she was talking about is just so evident.

DAMON (voice-over): As is her raw anger and frustration.

NOUR: I know God created human beings to live in this world in liberal way. Why does one man and his family control all these people? Why does only one man want to control all these people? Why?

DAMON: And in her mind, there's one man who can make it stop.

NOUR: Why our president killing us? Killing our brothers and sister and take them to the prison? Why? I just want to ask him this question.


DAMON (on-camera): And Wolf, that is the question that we hear being asked over and over again from these people who fled the violence in (INAUDIBLE) in the surrounding areas and from others as well. People just wanting to know what it is going to take not to step down, but what it's going to take for the international community to finally step in and take a real action.

BLITZER: Unfortunately, I hate to tell you because I know you're there on the scene, Arwa, it doesn't look like the international community other than issuing some statements and some posing sanctions is going to do anything at all, similar to what the international community, for example, is doing in Libya. I don't think there is a heart to do it, the guts to do it in Europe right now and certainly not here in the United States.

DAMON: No, and that is one of the very big critical issues right now because most certainly it appears with at least when it comes to the United Nations it appears why, you know, Russia and China and they certainly appear to be opposed to enter to the United Nations revolution. The Syrian government is very well aware of the fact that there is this division that exists within the international community, and that does give the government, President Bashar al- Assad a certain level of confidence.

They also do realize that there are very significant global players because they do have a very strong ally in another regional power house, and that is Iran. And that is why activists and other members of the opposition say that we do seek the type of attitude from the regime and that is what's attitude of indiscriminant use of force here toward civilian that we are seeing right now, because they do realize that there is not a lot that the international community and the U.S. is willing to do at this point in time, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, and I know that U.S. officials, Arwa, are very frustrated, very disappointed, and even angry that the Arab world, unlike Libya, the Arab world is not doing anything to go against Bashar al-Assad in Damascus either. Arwa Damon, one of our courageous journalists on the scene for us. We'll check back with you tomorrow. Arwa, thanks very much.

The breaking news this hour, the White House justifying its military role in Libya. Stand by for details onto what's turned into, right now, get this, a $1.1 billion U.S. taxpayer expense in Libya.

And Republican presidential hopefuls calling for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan now. Are GOPS hawks turning into bean counters? Gloria is standing by.


BLITZER: All right. The big story right now where rebellion in the ranks of Congress. Ten lawmakers have monitored a challenge to America's involvement in the Libya mission. They've announced the lawsuit arguing that Congress has an equal say in committing U.S. forces to an armed conflict. Critics say the president may be in violation of the war powers resolution. That's the act dated back to the last phases of Vietnam War which is supposed to limit the power of the president to commit U.S. forces.

In the past hour, the White House has responded with a report to Congress saying it doesn't need Congressional approval for what it calls a supporting role in Libya. Let's go live to our White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar. She's got a chance to go through all the documents. Brianna, share with our viewers the latest on what we know.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the big headlines here among them, the cost, $715 million, the cost of U.S. involvement in Libya. That is a price tag that goes through June 3rd, and there's also in this report, a projected cost for how much it would require to go through the end of September. That is about $1.1 billion, but the really big headline here has had to do with the legal justification.

The White House lays out for why the president -- the White House feels does not need to seek Congressional authorization for having troops abroad committed in a conflict for more than 60 days as the war powers resolution state.

Here's what the report said. The president is off the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the war powers resolution and do not, under that law, require further Congressional authorization because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of hostilities contemplated by the resolution 60-day termination provision.

You really have, Wolf, here the White House is looking at the fine print saying that this is a limited engagement. There aren't boots on the ground. There's not an exchange of hostile fire, and because of that, they should be on OK ground as far as it goes for the war powers resolution, Wolf.

BLITZER: I remember shortly after the military operations began, I was talking to national security counsel officials and I pointed out this was going to cost us, taxpayers, hundreds of millions of dollars. They disputed that. They thought that number was way, way overblown. And now, we're talking about $1.1 billion by the September of this year. Congressional reaction is going to be angry, I am sure of that. Are you getting any Congressional reaction yet, Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes, we have early reaction from Speaker Boehner's office from one of his spokesman, Brendan Buck, and basically, what it says, Wolf is that creative -- these are creative arguments made by the White House. So, that says something to you. And it also says that so far, the president has fallen short on his obligation to inform Congress and that, they, the speaker's office will be reviewing the information.

What's interesting here, there's not really so much of a threat, right? That doesn't seem to have a ton of teeth this statement, but what we do know is that Congress controls the purse, and next week, the defense spending bill is going to be on the floor. There's some discussion among Republican rank and file about attaching some sort of provision to defund the operation in Libya. We'll see how far that goes, Wolf.

BLITZER: Brianna, thanks very much. I still like my idea to deduct whatever it's costing U.S. taxpayers from the frozen Libyan assets, about $33 billion. The U.S., after all, is trying to liberate their own country. We'll see if that idea gets any traction. Brianna's at the White House.

Meanwhile, the commander of the war in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has to get ready for questioning this month on his nomination as the next CIA director. His first priority is to help the administration, though, get ready to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. She's getting new information for us.

What are you learning, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Wolf. You know, relations between the CIA and Pakistani intelligence services couldn't be at a more low point right now, could they?

General David Petraeus has arrived in Washington to prepare for his confirmation hearings as the next CIA director. Still, he first owes the president one very big answer, and that's what to do in Afghanistan.


STARR (voice-over): It's here on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that General David Petraeus believes there is some progress against insurgents.


STARR: But is there enough progress across Afghanistan? There was just one hint weeks ago of what Petraeus may be thinking.

PETRAEUS: While the security progress achieved over the past year is significant, it is also fragile and reversible.

STARR: Petraeus is now in Washington to recommend to the president what he has waited months to hear: how many U.S. troops Petraeus thinks can start coming home this July. It may be his most sensitive assignment yet.

STEPHEN BIDDLE, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: He's trying to -- to, you know, walk a fine line between having to do what he needs but thinning out the way the president meets his promise to the American people.

STARR: It was a promise made the night Obama announced a surge of U.S. forces.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months our troops will begin to come home.

STARR: Petraeus will offer several options. Aides say he isn't even telling them what he's thinking until he talks to the president, but the pressures are emerging. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called for modest cuts. His successor seems to think differently.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: President Obama said that the size of troop reductions from Afghanistan will be, quote, "significant." Director Panetta, do you agree that the U.S. troop reductions from Afghanistan beginning in July should be significant?

LEON PANETTA, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE NOMINEE: I agree with the president's statement.

STARR: Republican candidates must decide how tough they want to sound.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can.

STARR: Romney says he'd rely on military advice. The president may be able to do just that and avoid a showdown

BIDDLE: I think in terms of the president's calculus on this, this is not a situation where, if he doesn't give Democrats a 15,000- soldier withdrawal, that the Congress will vote to defund the war.


STARR: Now General Petraeus will tell the president the risk of each drawdown option that he presents, and then of course, President Obama will make the final decision. Some Democrats are already calling for 15,000 troops, half the entire surge, to be home by the end of the year. Republicans for now seem more cautious -- Wolf.

BLITZER: At least some Republicans, not all necessarily. All right, Barbara, thank you.

The war is increasingly unpopular with a lot of Republicans. Listen to the GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.


ROMNEY: I want those troops to come home, based upon not politics; not based upon economics, but instead, based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals. But I also think we learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation.


BLITZER: Let's bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, you watched the debate. You've been monitoring what's going on. You've written a very strong column on Do you sense a shift among Republicans when it comes to these issues of national security?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right now it's nuance, but it could be much more pronounced. I mean, you and I have covered politics a long time. Republicans have been the hawks, recently in recent history, talking about a muscular national security strategy.

Now it seemed to me, if you listen to our debate the other night, that they're really governed more by the bean counters. Everything has this overlay of what we can do because of the budget deficit and the debt mess.

And you heard what Mitt Romney was saying. He said it's not about economics, but we can't fight other people's wars of independence. You heard Michele Bachmann at the debate, saying we never should have intervened in Libya in the first place. And so what you have now is a struggle within the Republican Party about where they're going to stand on these issues of national security. And...

BLITZER: More and more of these Republicans are joining Ron Paul, who's very much opposed to any of these.

BORGER: Ron Paul after the debate told us that he actually felt a little more in step with his party than he had four years ago. And that's because he was the only one four years ago saying, "You know what? We shouldn't even be in Iraq." And of course, don't forget: John McCain was in the race then, and John McCain is -- is an interventionist.

BLITZER: Some of the Republican hawks are concerned. Listen to Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina. He told the Hill newspaper here in Washington, "From the party's point of view, the biggest disaster would be to let Barack Obama become Ronald Reagan and our people become Jimmy Carter."

BORGER: Oh, my God. You know, those are fighting words. And I actually ran into John McCain. I was up on the Hill today, and he wouldn't say much except he said to me, "You know, I keep asking myself the question, what would Reagan do?"

And his implied answer was that Reagan would not do this. and what Lindsey Graham is saying is that Romney has it wrong, that the fight in Afghanistan is not a war of independence from the Taliban, but it is a war that is vital to our national interests and our struggle against terrorism.

What you see here really is the Tea Party influence on the Republican debate, because you have to make choices now. If you're not going to raise taxes, these wars are very, very expensive.

BLITZER: You can read Gloria's entire column...

BORGER: Thank you.

BLITZER: ... at And you can read my blog, by the way, on our new Web site, I wrote about Florida, Florida, Florida and the presidential elections.

Gloria, thank you.

We'll get a quick check of the other top stories. That's coming up next. Then, an ex-porn actress says Congressman Anthony Weiner asked her to lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GINGER LEE, FORMER PORN ACTRESS: I didn't want to lie for him. But I didn't want to be the one that kicked him out of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).



BLITZER: Drones have been busy firing positions in Pakistan. CNN's Mary Snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What do you have?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, at least 15 people are dead in two suspected drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal region. Intelligence sources tell CNN 10 militants were killed in one strike and five in another.

CNN's Abamabad (ph) bureau counts these as the 33rd and 34th suspected U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan this year. There were 111 last year.

They're sand bagging as fast as they can in Omaha, Nebraska, as Missouri River floodwaters close in. A call is going out for volunteers to help fill a quarter million bags, and there's concern flooding might hamper this weekend's college world series in Omaha. A levy break could leave parts of the city under several feet of water.

And we're getting a first look at John Edwards's mug shots. CNN obtained them from the U.S. Marshal Service under the Freedom of Information Act. The former senator and presidential candidate was indicted earlier this month on federal charges for allegedly using illegal campaign funds to try to cover up an affair. He's pleading not guilty -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary, thank you. Mary Snow reporting.

A former porn star reveals her role in the Anthony Weiner scandal and joins the chorus calling for the congressman to step down.


LEE: I think that Anthony Weiner should resign because he lied to the public and to the press for more than a week.



BLITZER: There's a new twist in the scandal swirling around Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. A former porn star has now come forward, claiming that the lawmaker asked her to lie about their online communications. Let's go back to Mary. She's in New York. She has details. What's the latest, Mary?

SNOW: Wolf, Ginger Lee says after the scandal broke she asked Anthony Weiner about what she should do. She claims he told her to lie about their exchanges and provided the words she should say.


SNOW (voice-over): She's a former porn star whose path collided with Congressman Anthony Weiner online. Ginger Lee and famed attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference to speak out about these online communications with Weiner. She claims he coached her about dealing with the press after questions first surfaced about a lewd picture he sent someone else.

LEE: He asked me to lie about our communication. I put out a three-sentence communication that he told me to say. My statement to the press said, quote, "I haven't met Representative Weiner. I follow him on Twitter because I support him and what he stands for. I have been hounded by his political opponents, but that has not changed my view of him and what he fights for."

SNOW: Well, she said they never met. Lee claims she followed him on Twitter and after writing something positive about him on her blog, he started following her on Twitter. It eventually led to e- mails.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Although discussions at first were about politics, sometimes he would try to take it to another level, mentioning his, quote, "package."

SNOW: Allred says Lee didn't respond to alleged sexual advances, but in a blog post in March, she wrote that she wanted to have sex with him. By June 1, Weiner was asked about it.

BLITZER: Do you have any idea who this woman is? Were you sending her direct messages/

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (R), NEW YORK: I think what this is about is a clearly pro forma thing that goes out that I sent out to people as I follow them: "Thank you for following me. Please check in at"

SNOW: In fact, Allred says the two exchanged about 100 messages, and on June 2, one day after that interview, Lee claimed Weiner called her, and on his advice, she says she stayed in her house and avoided cameras, hoping the scandal would die down.

As to why she's speaking now, Allred says it was time to break her silence, and that someone had threatened to release a statement from her that she didn't authorize. And Lee added one final message.

LEE: I think that Anthony Weiner should resign, because he lied to the public and to the press for more than a week. It might have never turned into this if he had told the truth, but he kept lying.


SNOW: I reached out to Weiner's office about Lee's allegations but got no immediate response. And as for those threats that Allred mentioned, not a lot of answers. She didn't give any details of main threat she mentioned or the statement that she referred to -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary, thanks very much. Mary Snow working the story for us.

Jack Cafferty is asking, what does the future hold for organized labor? Your e-mail and Jack, that's coming up next.

And Jeanne Moos looks at a man who married a mannequin.


BLITZER: Getting right back to Jack. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour, Wolf, is: "What's the future hold for organized labor?" Got a lot of mail on this.

Alex writes from New York, "Unions need to globalize. Labor is now a global market, and unless unions can expand their reach to affect the global market for labor, nothing they can do here in the United States will result in anything except more jobs lost overseas."

Marcella in Los Angeles writes, "Unions are outdated, plain and simple. Our country has so many fair labor laws in place to protect the American worker. Today's labor unions are tantamount to cutting off your own hand to spite your arm, or cutting off your foot to spite your ear or something."

Richard in Oak Harbor, Washington: "Corporate executives betrayed the work forces that have made them successful. Outsourcing American jobs to developing nations is an effective union-busting strategy. Without jobs to unionize, there's no future for the labor unions."

David in Virginia writes, "Hard to say. If the Republicans gain power, organized labor is done, along with living wages, access to health care, and the little things like hope."

Dale writes, "Just as, after the Great Depression, when the unions were needed to save lives of the working poor, the unions will be necessary to save the lives of the working poor because of the current Great Depression."

Paul in Nova Scotia, Canada: "If what's going on up here in Canada is any indication, they are self destructing. I believe organized labor should start to redefine themselves in order to match up with the times. The old way is over. Our postal union is about to become a thing of the past here, because they don't have the smarts to see the handwriting on the wall and begin to bargain with some sense."

Jeff in Georgia writes, "Mr. Cafferty, I have no issue for or against unionization for the private sector. But I hope that organized labor in the public sector becomes as obsolete as Anthony Weiner's soon-to-be irrelevant political career."

And Mark in Oklahoma writes, "Jack, your question is sort of a moot point. How can we form unions around jobs that don't exist?"

You want to read more on this, you can find it on my blog:

The highlight of the show, however, still ahead. Is this true, we have a story about some guy who married a mannequin?

BLITZER: We certainly do. Jeanne Moos will have a "Most Unusual" report. Jack, stick around. You'll enjoy it.

CAFFERTY: Creeps me out.

BLITZER: See you tomorrow, Jack. Thank you.

For our North American viewers, "JOHN KING USA" starts right at the top of the hour. Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Rand Paul, they are among John's guests.

But up next, Jeanne Moos, she'll introduce us to that unusual couple that's attracting lots of attention.


BLITZER: A "Most Unusual" report. Married to a mannequin. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's such an incredibly odd sight that motorists do double-takes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That can't be real. What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is that?

MOOS: Then turn around for another look before posting it on YouTube. Someone create a Facebook fan page for him. Ned Nefer just did an interview with a couple of deejays out at 97X in Davenport, Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're married to a mannequin?

NED NEFER, MARRIED TO MANNEQUIN: To me she's not a mannequin.

MOOS: This Syracuse, New York, resident has become a phenomenon, pushing what he calls his wife, Teagan, 77 some miles, Syracuse to Watertown, back to where they first met and where a "Watertown Daily Times" reporter found them.

SARAH HAASE, WRITER, "WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES": He said, "Hi, you know. My name is Ned, and this is my wife, Teagan."

He believed it. You could see that he believed that this is his wife.

MOOS: Now folks are noting sightings on his Facebook page. They're posting photos posing with Ned and Teagan. People who haven't met him think it's an act. It sure doesn't seem like one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does she talk to you?

NEFER: Well, yes, I hear her very clear. We love each other and everything. We're just out just living our lives.

MOOS (on camera): Ned tells folks that he met his future wife at the Jefferson County Children's Home, a home for orphans, and when he first met her, she was just a head.

HAASE: The head told him to build her a body. And that's what he did.

MOOS (voice-over): We don't know why he chose this caricature of a black woman. The situation is right out of the film "Lars and the Real Girl."

RYAN GOSLING, ACTOR: You know, Bianca is a missionary. She...

PATRICIA CLARKSON, ACTRESS: He appears to have a delusion.

PAUL SCHNEIDER, ACTOR: Fantastic. When will it be over?

CLARKSON: When he doesn't need it any more.

MOOS: Ned says he's needed Teagan for 25 years.

(on camera) We can't diagnose Ned Nefer's mental status, but he does say that he's on government disability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you guys have any kids?

NEFER: She's not flesh, so she can't have children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like she's not real.

NEFER: Well, she's real. But, you know, there are -- there are ladies that are flesh that can't have children.

MOOS: Some may mock with music.


MOOS: Some may snicker watching Ned feed Teagan a Snickers bar.

NEFER: I guess they feel that people are talking about us.

MOOS: Others are touched: "We think he's no dummy."

HAASE: He seems happy.

MOOS: At least he has the grace...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good luck to you and have a safe journey.

NEFER: We sure hope so. MOOS: ... to wipe a Snicker off the face of his significant other.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: Tomorrow Senator Dianne Feinstein here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A lot to discuss with her.

For now, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. For our international viewers, "WORLD REPORT" is next. For all of you in North America, "JOHN KING" USA starts right now.